Jewish Groups Receive New Funds for Security

According to the Jewish Federations of North America, new federal funds were made available to Jewish nonprofit groups for security purposes.

The Jewish Federations of North America hailed the release of $19 million to nonprofits through the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NPSG). The funding announced yesterday is the fifth installment of the program and is up $4 million since Fiscal 2009. Since 2005, $99 million has been distributed across the country.

Under the 2010 grant program, nonprofit organizations in 64 designated high-threat urban areas nationwide were eligible to apply for grants to acquire and install physical security enhancements to deter and detect attacks. Such measures include blast-proof windows, reinforced doors, locks, gates and fences, video surveillance and more. The grants also promote security-related preparedness planning and training.

Out of 270 grant awards, 253 (or nearly 94 percent) were given to Jewish institutions. This is up from 144 Jewish institutions in Fiscal 2009. Federations in Washington D.C., Miami, Tampa, St. Louis, Northern N.J., Tulsa, Seattle and Philadelphia received grant money this year. Other grantees included 129 synagogues, 33 Jewish Community Centers, 50 Jewish schools and others including family services agencies, hospitals, museums and elder-care facilities.

In another significant boost for the program, JFNA also successfully led efforts to secure $20 million for next year’s NSGP program within draft legislation moving through the Senate – a $1 million increase over the current year.

The House allocation is unknown at this time, but JFNA is working to maximize the the program’s funding in the final version of the bill.

Congress established the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in 2005, at the behest of Jewish Federations and other leading nonprofit organizations, in recognition that certain nonprofits (including community centers, hospitals, schools, places of worship, and other health, humanitarian, cultural and civic places) are considered civilian targets by terrorists.